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Found 12 results

  1. It had to happen, didn't it? I get a brand new Mig-25 in for review from those delightful folks at ICM, and next thing you know, the box just falls onto my desk, and all the cockpit parts jump out of the open box. How did that happen? Dunno, don't care, but I'm building it. I've not got very far with it so far, as it's been a tad busy here recently, so here are a few pics of the cockpit now that it's together. The parts are glued into the fuselage halves where appropriate, and not glued yet where it makes the painting easier. The seat is also constructed, and I'll be raiding the Eduard PE for the old (AHEM!) one for some seatbelts, and maybe a few other odds & sods that might fit this kit. Not too much though, as I don't want to spoil the "out of box" nature of the build. My friends are sick of hearing this, but so far the parts are just falling together with very little effort. Things just fit... with one exception, which is a teeny little knob on the port sidewall, which needed its socket expanding a little with a drill in a pin-vice... once I'd swept it up off the floor that is. Old butter-fingers strikes again Anyway - primer next, and then some of that nice AKAN Russian interior green that got a bit scarce when the AMK Mig-31 came out. If you're going to need some, get onto Martin @ Atlantic Models, and get your oar in early. I hope whoever it was that I nabbed the last bottle from last time has forgiven me by now A couple of pics. Remember - loosely taped together for the lulz: I have a feeling I'm going to be enjoying this build somewhat
  2. As soon as I'd finished reviewing this little resin gem from Planet Models, I couldn't resist the urge to build it, so I started preparing some parts for assembly, then painting. I'm building it as a bit of a sanity/mojo build, as I've not done a tap of modelling for a couple of months at least, and I was starting to forget how. I've not obsessed over detail too much, nor done much in the way of research. I've just pottered on regardless I got the cockpit base painted a couple of weeks ago, then had to take a break, but yesterday I took up my modelling tools again, and began detail painting of the 'pit, and some of the ancillaries such as the engine. The cockpit when finished slided inside th fuselage, so nothing much is seen of the area behind the X-shaped cross-braces, so I didn't even bother painting them... which makes the cockpit look a bit shabby now. Not my best work, but very little will be seen inside the fuselage, which suits me Yesterday I decided to close up the fuselage, which is sometimes a pause for thought with a resin model. I decided to use CA, as it gives an immediate bond that can be useful to work out the kinks of a potentially warped pair of fuselage parts. As it happens, these were pretty good, with just a small gap/misalignment between front and rear parts of the upper seam. I glued it in parts, using an old #11 blade to insert CA into the joints, starting with the top join forward of the canopy. Then the rear fuselage and tail were glued, being sure to get things lined up where it matters. The underside was done in the same manner, and before it was cured, I sanded any remaining gaps to choke up the small spaces with a mixture of resin dust and CA. A line of CA was then added to the top, and again, sanded while still fresh to get it all merged together. That all went surprisingly quickly, and a quick squirt of black primer showed just a few spots where there were flat-spots that needed rounding off. The wings were just push-fitted at this point, although the fit was very good, needing just a slight fettle before I could glue them in place. I had painted the two banks of pistons a generic metallic colour, and added the push-rods from short lengths of 0.5mm diameter styrene rod, which were painted black, then picked out in GW Chainmail along with the ring for contrast. I've got some tinned copper florists' wire in various diameters, and used the 0.3mm stuff to simulate the wiring harness, which isn't included in the kit. 14 lengths for the front bank, and another 14 for the rear bank, which although they looked nice & shiny (too shiny), were dulled down with a bit of matt varnish. I painted the bell-housing interior/exterior green as a best guess from some reference photos, and will pretty much leave it as is because so little will be seen that any weathering would probably go unseen Elevators were added, and these again fitted neatly, with different sized tabs & slots to ensure you get them in the right 'ole. I pushed the engine in place, and later had a quick go with the cowling on too, to give the full effect of the aircraft's shape (minus vacformed canopy at this stage). Very Fw.190 indeed. The white dot on the lip of the cowling is a piece of styrene rod glued into a solitary bubble that snuck through QC. It would have been invisible in the factory, so we'll let them off I'll be spraying a bit more black primer here & there to test seams & finishes, but at the moment there are a couple of pieces of clear acrylic sat in the notches I cut in the wing for the nav lights, as these were solid resin, so needed to go. Once cured, I'll sand them back to profile and polish them back to clarity, although I think they're usually coloured lenses. Tamiya clear red & green are already in the bulbs (a small drilled hole), so things should look ok with some more on the lens. Can I keep momentum up? Who knows, but I'm not starting anything else now until I have finished something. I have a PV-1 with Owl nightfighter conversion set that's asking me to build it at the moment, but whatever else comes along in the meantime might prove shinier I'm seriously tempted by the Fw.P.II that @petr@SpecialHobby kindly sent me too. Bless him!
  3. As soon as I got this kit from Martin @ T7 Models, and after the review (here) I was tempted to build it, as I've not built one of Airfix's new kits, but I also remembered that we'd reviewed a bunch of Eduard Photo-Etch (PE) and resin upgrades for it, in the shape of the cockpit set, seatbelts (STEEL), flaps, exhaust stubs and of course the wheels, the latter being in resin from their Brassin range. Putting aside the little Bren Gun Carrier I've been pottering with for my own amusement, I started cutting parts off the sprues. While the surface detail isn't going to blow your socks off for innovation, the kit has been designed from an engineering stand-point, and quality as well as certainty of fit has been a high priority. Use of lugs, keyed tabs and suchlike have been used to ensure that the parts fit where they are supposed to go, like one big jigsaw, each part supporting the next in terms of fit and strength. The cockpit is built up on a section of the wing panel, so is curved, and has the front and rear bulkheads slot in, supported by little buttresses to ensure the correct angle. The seat also fits into holes on the floor and rear frame, and although I elected to remove the kit seat to replace it with another, that also fits into a keyed slot for security. I tried out some chipping on the floor, seat, rudder pedals and control column, using a base of Gunze Zinc Chromate, with some AK Chipping fluid in between that and some Xtracrylix interior green. A quick scrub around the masked off aluminium and in places of wear gave a pleasant look to the floor, which was enhanced when the washes went on later. The cockpit sidewalls were upgraded with a lot of parts from the main set, most of which were pre-painted. Where the ejector-pin marks would be covered, I left those, but filled any that would be visible later for good measure. The set went together very well, and with a little care, I was done in no-time, using a little AMMO Dark Brown wash (A.MIG-1005) to show up some areas of detail. I spotted the grey fleck & wash overrun while I was processing these photos, so those have been fixed now. The seat was replaced initially with the PE seat from the main set, but I made a hash of that, so I dragged out an old Reheat one and folded that up for painting. The STEEL belts were easy to use, folding nicely around details and sitting quite well on the seat pan, and although they aren't quite as good as the HGW fabric belts, they are less of a faff, so it's swings and roundabouts, as well as a case of availability. The instrument panel was scoured of detail with a sanding stick, the pre-painted back sheet glued to the plastic with CA, and the front with the bezels and cut-outs for the instruments was then floated into place on a couple of drops of AK Gauzy. Once dry and matt varnished, I added drops of the thicker Gauzy to the dials to give them a shiny look, reminiscent of glass. Assembly of the finished cockpit cage was a piece of cake, and as I had remembered to smooth off and paint the insides of the fuselage with interior green, the ribbed look works when the 'pit is inserted inside. The chin intake/exhaust for the radiator needs assembling before you can close up the fuselage, so I added the more detailed mesh panels from the PE set, and painted the backdrop Zinc Chromate, the meshes aluminium, and gave them a wash of AMMO Cockpit wash before masking them over so that I could spray the underside colour into their ducting. Once Unmasked they fitted well, using keyed lugs to ensure they fit exactly 50% inside the centre of the port fuselage half, improving the fit of the finished assembly. I'll pop some Blutak into the ducting later to protect them from paint overspray. There are a few sink marks on the wing parts where the plastic is at its thickest, which I hid with a thin coat of Tamiya Basic Putty, rescribing any panel lines lost in the process. There were also a pair of large ejector pin marks inconveniently sited in the centre of the main wheel bay area, which is moulded with creases to simulate fabric, making it a bit tricky to get to with normal sanding materials. I filled the marks with a couple of layers of CA, accelerated and then sanded with a small piece of coarse sandpaper glued to the end of a flattened coffee stirrer gifted to me in bundles by a friend. As I got closer to the final finish I removed the coarse grit with a blade and glued a medium grit piece in its place, rubbing in small movements until it was flat enough, and being careful not to flatten off the moulded-in creases. A quick squirt of primer established that the job was done, but showed up a pair of deep sink-marks in the sidewall of the bays where the linking section shrank during cooling. Another layer of Tamiya Basic applied with a metal sculpting tool gave a good basis for the fill, which was tidied up with surprisingly small amount of sanding after it had dried. I also put in the bay skins where the struts would lie in the retracted position, the holes in which corresponded nicely with those in the underlying plastic. With the fuselage taped together I tested the fit of the wing root fairings, which again have a keyed format to ensure a good fit. The port side fits beautifully after scraping some moulding flash from the front of the fuselage cut-out, but the starboard one took a little more scraping and test-fitting before the rear section would stop veering toward the centreline of the fuselage, creating a negative step at the rear, and probably screwing up the fit of the wings completely. The rudder has a well-known goof with only one side having the trim-tab moulded in, which I fixed with a razor saw and scribing tool, giving it a quick squirt of primer to verify that a swirl in the plastic wouldn't show up under paint. It did not, which is useful, as there is ribbed fabric texture there, which would make replicating it fun. Whilst all this was going on I was trying to decide whether to fit the flaps set that I had, as it would slow the build down somewhat while I fettled the fit and butchered the wing parts to accommodate the parts. I did a test run of one flap last night to see whether it was doable, as they differ slightly from sets I have used before, in that the flap and bay are in one large single part. The piece is quite delicate and unwieldy once cut from the fret, but with the correct tools and a bit of patience I managed to build it up over the course of an hour, and even though I had my doubts whether the small PE stringers would fit through the holes provided for them, they didn't let me down. The instructions advise using a rod of 0.5mm styrene for a suspended section of the flap bay, but my Evergreen rod of that size wouldn't fit, so I resorted to a length of 0.3mm brass rod I had in stock. That probably made the job easier in the end, as the brass has better structural rigidity than styrene, and would be less likely to deflect as you push it through. Based on the fact that half of the folding work is now done, I'm erring toward using the set, as it might help to distract from the rather thick trailing edge of the wing, which will be more difficult to thin out in the old-fashioned way by scraping, due to the way in which the wing halves have been engineered with thicker sections interlocking around the ailerons that are moulded into the wing lower. I think I've talked myself into it now. Bugger. The resin wheels have been constructed after a few seconds with a razor saw to cut off the pouring blocks, and although it seems a shame to hide away those lovely crisp wheel spokes, the early Warhawks wore the hubcaps, so on went the PE parts. A word to the wise here. Lightly sand the edges of the parts to ensure that they sit within the hub's flange, as the tiny mismatch between the two sides of the PE photo-resist can lead to a slight step that, due to the tight tolerances, may leave you with a slightly off-centre hubcap, or stands proud at one side. The exhaust stubs were simplicity themselves to remove, and fit perfectly into their recesses on the side of the fuselage, so following a coat of primer, I'll be looking to see how they look after use, so I can try to replicate their patina something like realistically. Speaking of realism, I did some research on the most likely colours for the AVG bird that I'm planning on portraying – who cares if it's been done to death? The instructions give the DuPont codes for the airframe under the Airfix codes, so using a couple of websites I found on the subject, some information here on Britmodeller, plus my favourite paint conversion website, I decided on an all-Xtracrylix team for the painting. The underside will use XA1140 Light Grey (FS16622), which looks about right from the bottle, while the upper camo will be XA1111 Olive Drab (FS14087) and XA1114 Medium Green (FS14092), both of which seem a little dark from a scale-effect point of view, so they will end up a bit lighter once I've finished modulating the tones here and there. Probably wrong, or at least misguided, but I have those paints in stock, and they look close enough to an unrestored airframe I saw during my search, allowing for the ravages of age and any colour distortions picked up along the way. I'm not into Munsell values or arguing about what colour is displayed in a B&W photo, and having seen how dusty some of those aircraft got, I'm not going to stress about it either, so there!
  4. This little jet trainer from t'other side of the iron curtain piqued my interest when it arrived yesterday from AMK for review, and today I got chance to break out the sprue cutters and put some parts together. The cockpit was first, and on the inner sides of the ejection seat frames there are a couple of ejector pin marks that need filling. There are a few more dotted around the cockpit, but after some test-fitting, it looks like none of them will be seen when complete, thanks to some careful placement. I'm quite pleased with the detail in the cockpit out of the box, which should look good once I've slapped a bit of paint on. I've dry-assembled the nose gear bay too, and again, the ejector pin marks won't be seen there - good job too, as some of them are on compound internal curves! Everything fits together really nicely, which I kind of expected from looking at the parts on the sprues, and progress has been quite quick for me. I also test-fitted the wing, checking how the intakes came together, and what does and doesn't need filling. Again, fit is good, and apart from the seam on the curved lip, there's not going to be much to fill, and not much past the lip wil be seen - it's a small space, and pretty dark! The wing root fits snugly, and the splitter plate should do too, once it's butted up to the rest of the intake. The T-tail is just clipped in place too, although the elevator has a fairly sizeable sink mark on the underside where the aerodynamic fairing is on the opposite side. Some Tamiya Basic Putty is on the job, and should set up over night. Remind me to get a new tube though, as mine's going a bit stiff The jet-pipe is a single piece, and has a raised mould seam at the end of the straight section, which I removed by sanding it back with a piece of wet'n'dry wrapped round a stick, then polished up with some micromesh cloth wrapped around the same stick. Pretty easy, and again, not much past the lip will be seen, and I'm not even going to bother painting the exhaust trunking, it's so dark in there I'm planning on leaving the nose bay closed, so will remove the equipment in there to add some weight before I close up the bay cover, which again seems to fit really well in both positions. Apart from the growing mass of small parts on my desk, this is how it looks so far. Quite a pretty little thing as jet trainers go
  5. I've just finished the review of this here new kit, and you can have a read of it here if you're interested in what I thought of it before I started building. it's hot off the press & barely cooled down, and I've been snipping a few parts off the sprues already The first job is building and painting the engines. The parts are all clipped off & tidied up, and I've done a quick test fit in the lower fuselage to orient myself on how it all goes together. It fits beautifully so far, and most of the seams are hidden away in the long trunking. Can't be bad! I just applied the first bit of glue to the insert in the lower fuselage, which fitted like a glove. I eased it with light finger pressure to get it lined up, and now I'm just waiting for it to dry before I handle it again. I thought I'd better do one of the BM airframes in honour of the forum, and hope it doesn't end up like one of the other meanings to BM
  6. The kit can be seen in my inbox review here on BM. The intent is to build the kit out of be box. As it is multi coloured plastic, with push fits I am not using any glue or paint. Thanks to japan:cool for this kit. If you have any interest in Gundam please visit their website and have a look around. I can not be held responsible for any money spent there as they have too much "cool" stuff for sale. The kit has very detailed instructions, now I know a lot of the time we don't read these, but for this kit you do have to as there are a lot of parts inside the kit which help in the articulation, as well as supporting other parts. The instructions also help by showing what sprues you need to get out for each stage, handy when there are 12 in total! There is some cleaver engineering with multi colour parts on one sprue, and a mix of plastic on the same sprue. 1. The Body Unit The first construction stage is the main body unit. This consists of over 40 parts on its own. The first picture here shows the internal parts being put together; There are some external armoured conduits linking the front to the back of the suit. These are made on a flexible grey sprue with the armoured green parts moulded around this. After you have cut the whole part from the sprue you have to cut away each of the separate armoured parts from the runner. These are then slid along onto the part from there runner. It takes a fair bit of force to do these as there is obviously some heat involved in the moulding process, however the do slide along. Once the conduits are attached to the internal parts the outer armoured panels can be added. Here you can see the multi coloured parts coming into their own with the Body unit complete. This took a little over an hour after a good read of the instructions.
  7. I've been messing about building some PE parts for a Vulcan project that's going to be in a book soon (hopefully), and thought you guys might like to see some of it. It's going to be about a build of a Vulcan that has a lot of aftermarket thrown at it, and will have the bomb bay, wheel bays, cockpit and so forth updated with resin and PE parts. The list of parts so far includes the following: Airfix kit (of course) WEM Cockpit PE WEM Bomb Bay PE WEM Exterior PE Wolfpack Intakes Wolfpack Gear Bays Wolfpack Correction Set Freightdog Gods of Sea & Fire Decals I might also be using some of the Flightpath Vulcan set, but that remains to be seen so far. It's unlikely I'll be using a whole lot of the WEM exterior set on this build, as the Wolfpack resin does most of that set's work, but I have another Vulcan knocking about that should benefit from the left-overs at some point. Whether I put bombs in the bays or not remains to be seen, but I'll probably put the bomb-hangers in for a little extra detail The PE cockpit is taking shape at the moment, after I did the main parts of the bomb bay PE, using liquid solder to ease the way. Here's a quick pic of the rear seats as they were built up from the instructions. The rear cockpit is still in sections at present, waiting for priming, painting and then the addition of some rather nice acetate instrument panels to give it a bit of life. The front cockpit is also pretty much done, but the seat bases were a bit wide, so I had to fabricate my own from styrene stock. There are no seats in any of the aftermarket sets I have, and the kit seats are nothing short of horrible, so I've pulled out some parts from Aeroclub to replace them, which I've just finished cleaning up and building. I'll be posting a few pics as I go along, but there will be more in the book as and when it comes along.
  8. PLEASE READ: I'll keep updating this first post, like an article, so if you see add a post with an update look here again at the bottom I won't write a in-box review because the hyperscale guy already done so, but I have my own impressions as long as I build it. Be forgiving with my english My first impression was really good, Cartograf decals designed by Isracast , shame it's doesn't give the option for a C2 with three-tone desertic camouflage which differs from the desertic C7 in the base color and design. It's a shame the error on the supersonic fuel tank (about 14mm shorter), but with a pen with that diameter is not hard so extend them is trivial. What bothers me about the kit is the panel's inconsistency, some a properly moulded but some are only "suggested", this proven to be a major issue later on, I noticed this on a Greek F-16C I built before but wasn't so bad. Also the plastic is too soft and grainy, this makes a nightmare to rescribe it, sometimes you feel you're not making a line but a groove tearing the plastic apart. I think Kinetic still behind Tamiya, Hasegawa and even Academy and Trumpeter in those field. I start this thing as soon as I got home from the post office. The building process is fairly standard, cockpit and wheel wells where built and painted I did not have pictures of that yet. In the meantime all the parts of the intakes where painted, and assembled, two good things about them, first is you won't find any ejector pin marks on any of them and second they go down up to the compressor face, you won't see any of that but it's fine to know the went the extra mile designed that. Dry-fitting the wing parts I noticed that some sanding was in order to make a propper fitting, nothing bad. We open some holes on the wings to install pylons later on. When you glue the wings and the fuselage togheter the show starts!, on the upper side everything goes brilliant, Kinetic guys added (comparing with Eduard/HB/Heller kits) some tabs to avoid a gap where fuselage meet the wings, good one Kinetic. But when you turn the model around you start to notice the misalignment between the parts, I thought some pressure while the parts dry should be enough I left the parts to dry overnight but surprise surprise!, parts moved and I got a horrible step, damn!, next time I'll add some tabs and give a cyanoacrilate dot to keep parts from moving while liquid cement dries. Intakes where glued overnight to together with the wings and fuselage so same problem here. Moving on, I rather take my time aligning parts than gluing without much test-fitting to avoid putty and rescribing, now I have no escape. Once sanding and filling was done I had to rescribe the missing panels, and hell went loose, what a crappy plastic! I remember thought, this is the weakest point of this kit IMHO, plastic comes off in little chunks instead of fine swirls or dust, so you end-up with awful lines. At this moment I decided to rescribe as I could and pray that the pylons cover most of the problems up. I wanted to do a clean Kfir so the peculiar landing gear was clearly visible, so I hope pylons not spoil the view. Canards where a problem too, I you leave the locating tabs on you won't be able to properly locate them, also some filling and sanding here. You might get the impression I don't like the kit, but I like it a lot, I was really hoping for something better in terms of molding and fitting, that's true but the kit it's really really nice, and I already bought two more to make a C1 and an Ecuadorian C7. May 27: Before start painting took care of some details here and there, some panels are not perfect but they're hidden and/or decals and/or washes will cover those minor defects. Some missing bits and peaces like air scoops and IR finder where glued into position, and the model was ready to be painted. Did some research because I was not convinced with the sand color, both Kinetic and Isradecal says that the sand color is FS33531. FS33531 is Gunze H-313, also Gunze H-318 (radome) is very close it, both are a bit too light to my eye, I painted my Nesher with it H-313 and looks spot on but on the Kfir I was not so sure. Not being comfortable with the idea of testing the colors on the Kfir model I grab my half built 1/48 Revell EF-2000 EuroBoringToDeathFighter and spayed the israeli scheme, having done that I was convinced that the paint selection is fine (H-318 Radome, H-312 Green and H-310 Brown). I'm not fan of the preshading, but after watching a video of a 1/32 Sufa (almost same colors but the green) I was decided to give it a try. One hour later the three colors where sprayed in two stages, the first was to get the hang of the paint and "draw" the scheme in the model. In the second stage I improved the edgles of the colors trying to mimic the almost hard edges on the real thing. Using a very diluted mixture of ~80% white and 20% radome I unevenly post shaded the paintwork, the idea is to break the uniformity of the colors making the airplane a bit more "live". Over the panel lines used a 99,75% diluted Gunze "Tyre Black", again it's almost invisible. I really like the result. The underside was painted with Gunze H-307, should have used H-308 but I ran out of it, but I have a card painted with both 307 and 308 but my estimation is that the former a 3% darker, not really much. Kinetic instructions instruct you to pain the wheel wells and the inner face of the landing gear doors should be painted white, but Isradecal book shows them in the same color as the underside, in this case H-308. The only thing I painted white was the landing gear, I did it so. I only have to post-shade the underside and it's decal time!!!. June 6: Lot done since last post, the postshading on the under side is finished and all the zillion decals are in place, it's a lot of work but not as bad as a modern Phantom kit, I did it in two 1hs decaling sessions, Cartograph decals are lovely, but just to be on the safe side under each decal I put a drop of Klear, with that not even the hardest Revell decal gets silvering. In the meantime I assembled and painted all the weapons, about 20 of them since I couldn't make mi mind on what to load, I must say that Kinetic Snakeyes are the best I ever encountered, better than the ones in the Hasegawa weapons set or in the HobbyBoss kits even when they're not trouble free, also I grab two Mk.117 US bombs and a Sidewinder L since in my references some Kfirs used both. When I was about to paint the Rafale's I realized that Kinetic did not give any reference to any color of any brand (as with the mk.20's bombs). I must say that this is not the only problem with Kinetics intructions, also in the color paint guide they show a mk.82 bomb with a regular tail and not a snakeye, not a big deal but is not the only one. Also I did not decided yet what fuel tanks I'm going to use so I paint them all Once I finished with all that I did the weathering with oils which I found the easiest to work with and they give you the most control and the best result, on the down side (or not) they may take a couple of days to dry and you can remove some paint if you gloss coat is not thick enough. Next time will come the final reveal. Hope you like tit saludos
  9. About the aircraft: The Raiden was a point defence interceptor developed by the Imperial Japanese Navy and used in the war to intercept enemy bombers. The Allies gave it the code name: "Jack" The development of the aircraft can be traced back to the time of the Second Sino-Japanese War. It's origin stems from the Imperial Japanese Navy's need for a point defense interceptor to counteract the heavy damage caused by the bomber units of the Republic of China Air Force, leading to the issuing of "the 14-Shi official specification" to the Mitsubishi Heavy-Industires Ltd in April 1940. In reply to this request from the Navy, Mitsubishi formed a design team led by the chief designer Jiro Horikoshi, who had just finished the design of the Mitsubishi A6M1 (later known as the A6M Zero) and now began developing the new and powerful J2M1 (Later known as the Raiden) Towards the end of World War II, mainland Japan was finally within reach of the B-29 Bombers. These were cutting-edge large aeroplanes. It was against these that the Raiden joined combat. A number of Raidens were assigned to the 302nd Naval Air Group, the 332nd Naval Air Group in Iwakuni, the 352nd Naval Air Group in Omura and Tainana Air Group, extending the range of Japan's home defence. Among them, the Raiden division of the 302nd Naval Air Group, which was created as a homeland protection unit, achieved great results in intercepting the B-29 bombers advancing to the Capital. The Raiden, being the fastest aircraft of the Japanese Navy, fought until the end of the war using hit-and-run tactics, taking advantage of their speed. The kit: I was lucky enough to pick up the kit at Telford 2013 at the official launch. Apart from the fact that I had been eagerly anticipating the arrival of it, I had been looking forward to picking up another one of the SWS kits which has not failed to "wow" me since the series was created several years ago. So, with my good friend, we waited first in line at the Zoukei-Mura stand, and were rewarded with our prize - the new 1/32 Raiden kit. I find it nigh on impossible not to be wowed by the releases by Zoukei-Mura. The details are exsquisite, the moldings are beautiful and the level of attention that has been paid to researching the kit is nothing short of fantastic. To me, everything about the kits scream quality - the instruction booklet for example, printed to resemble a flight manual, with photos of the section being constructed in finished state, design notes to explain why certain aspects have been included, and comprehensive painting instructions. I know though that the pseudo-realistic interior structure does not please everyone though - it is after all, mainly guesswork. However, the option to cover over these parts would normally negate this in my mind. The box art depicts a Raiden of the 352nd Naval Air Group flowen by Lt. JG Yoshihiro Aoki in March 1945, flown from Omhura Air Base near Nagasaki, diving away from a hit-and-run attack on a B-29 bomber: So what do you get for your money? The answer: a lot of plastic. In fact, a great amount of plastic: A masking sheet and decal sheet are also included in this little lot. The instruction booklet is designed to look a bit like a flight manual for the aircraft, and the drawings in this are comprehensive, clear and easy to follow. Paints are called out in Gunze Mr Color, which means I will have to take a trip to the e-shop before progressing too much further with this!!: The instructions are divided up into sub sections for each part of the build, and each section shows how the completed section should look by the end of it (in theory, although if my pudgy fingers have anything to do with it, it might not!!): Anyway, for this kit, you get 9 sprues, all molded in a light grey plastic and 2 sprues in clear plastic. The clear parts are very nice. In fact, very thin, and very clear. The immediate danger is the more ham-fisted modeller will easily find a way of managing to snap these whilst playing around with them!! I struggled to find somewhere to take photos to represent these, however, sanctuary was finally found on top of a black wardrobe: The thinness of these sprues is remarkable: The clear sprues go hand in hand with a sprue that is dedicated to the canopy framing: Personally, I find this to be an excellent way of doing it. It will certainly help to make the finished product look more realistic than painted on frames. These also are very thin and come in a protected area of the box, just to make sure that they aren't damaged in transit. There is a whole sprue dedicated to the Kasei type 23kou Engine: This looks also beautiful, however one or two of the sprue attachments look incredibly fiddly and very easy to get wrong. A bit of gentle work should save this from being a major problem, but this is something else to watch out for: The rest of the sprues include the following: As with everything in this kit, the parts just scream detail and will look beautiful painted up: Closer inspection reveals that there are a good number of injector pin marks however, and depending on how I decide to handle this build will have a very big say in how I handle these. A good number are located on the inside of the fuselage and on the inside of the wings. These areas shouldn't be too visible when complete, however, I can't be too sure of it at the moment, and will have to decide at some stage as to how much action I take on these!: And how's about this for a brutal clean up operation to do: Anyway, initial impression doesn't fall short of the aforementioned "wow" factor with many many details replicated to an incredibly high standard. If the kit builds as well as the instructions make it look like it does, I should be in for a treat. In the meantime, I will start this in the next couple of days. First of all, I've got a shopping list for Gunze paint and need to have a little shop!! Chris
  10. I knew it wouldn't be long before I caved in and built my third drone. First was the Predator, then the monsterous Global Hawk, both of which were fun and quite quick to build. This one looks like it's going to hit the same sweet spots as the other two, and progress has been swift. The intake trunking is full-length with the fans blocking the way, and the fit is really rather good - just remember to check you're not cutting off the pips that hold the fans in place within the trunk, as they look suspiciously like sprue-gates! The sprue gates overall are pretty large, but have been organised (for the most part) to attach to the mating surfaces, which is great news, as you're not risking the surface detail when you chop 'em flush. The plastic is a little brittle, sometimes tearing a bit when you're cutting through a large gate in one fell swoop, but if you know that, you can take it more gently. The trunking had a couple of ejector pin marks that I thought I should cover up just in case, which was done with CA and sanding back to a smooth finish, and really didn't take long. I painted the front of the trunking with Alclad White Primer, and the rear plus fans with black. Then the rear was given several coats of exhaust colours, and both front lips were masked off and primed grey. After adding the freshly Alcladed fans to the mix, I closed the two trunk halves and flooded the joint with liquid glue, allowing it to do its work before I clamped it together with a LOT of clamps. Now it's complete, I suspect it doesn't need any filling, as the seams seem to have clogged themselves up with mixed paint & melted styrene. I'll have to re-do the exhaust though, as a little glue has run and spoiled the metallic finish. I wasn't too happy with it though, so I'm not overly bothered The seam between the intake lower lip and upper lip is exceptionally good, as is the top seam, and I'm about to start applying glue around the fuselage edges any minute. A word of caution about the fit however. The wheel bay lumps are chamfered off at the outside edge, and a corresponding thin-spot is present in the fuselage upper. This doesn't seem quite enough however, so I took a coarse sanding stick to the roof of the bays to accentuate the chamfer until it fitted nicely. The landing gear were built up while I was doing the various jobs, and here there are two aspects to watch out for. The join between sprue-gates and parts is again somewhat fuzzy, and it would be quite easy to snip off some of the parts and lose the occasional peg, as almost happened in one instance. The other thing is that the parts are a little softly moulded, so clean-up is a must. I filled four ejector pins with styrene sheet that was super-glued into the holes and then cut/sanded back, and I had some damage to a couple of brackets that fit on the main legs around half way up the front of the struts. One pinged off during the rebuilding process, so I build a replacement from scratch, and added the triangular support to the other from strip. The wheels fit together nicely and just need their seams sorting out, which is yet to be done. There are also a confusion of hoses going up the main legs, which I'll add using lead wire before I start painting in earnest. The white primer was just blown onto a few items while I was doing the intakes I had to thin the joints between the two parts for the oleo-scissors by rubbing the inner edges with wet-n-dry, but they fit nicely once thinned, and because the bolts/axle stubs were quite soft, I elected to remove them while cleaning up the moulding seams, and add them back later with some LionRoar PE circular nuts - the ones that have no supports to cut away, which makes them an absolute godsend
  11. Finally got round to starting this after illness and work kept getting in the way. All parts have been cleaned in soapy water, with the metal and resin parts cleaned of any flash and injection points.
  12. I couldn't resist starting this one, after reviewing it here the other day, and have slapped the cockpit together into assemblies so I can prime and then paint it all. I've added some strengthening to the rear turtle-deck (which is optionally PE), and some strip styrene to the sidewalls of the cockpit, and have decided to replace the provided PE seatbelts with Eduard items because they're overscale and would struggle to fit on the seat-pan. I'm not bothering to remove the cushion from the seat, as my pilot will be a sufferer with haemorrhoids, so in need of the extra comfort. The rear bulkhead behind the seat isn't very accurate, but as it won't really be seen once complete, I'm really not bothered. I shall be breaking out the paint shortly I've also built up the engine stub that'll be seen through the gear bay roof, and will prime and paint that at about the same time
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